3 Things To Teach Youth Football Linebackers

By FirstDown PlayBook on May 23, 2022
FirstDown PlayBook Offers A Lot of Help Coaching Youth Football Linebackers & All Other Positions

There is a lot going on when you play the linebacker position. When you are coaching youth football linebackers it can be easy to skip over some important fundamentals as you teach. This is a huge mistake.

Sometimes the coaches who do the worst job of teaching fundamentals are former players. This is especially true of great players. What came instinctively to them and what they could do athletically is often not available to a 10 year old player.

Having said that, we have put together a short video today that talks about things to think about as you are teaching your youth football linebackers. This includes their alignments and gap responsibilities in the various defenses you install.

June Is Youth & Flag Football Month

When you use FirstDown PlayBook’s youth football defense, you notice one thing immediately. We draw up every defense against fourteen different offensive formations. Why? Because every formation should tell your defense something about their assignments. The formation also tells the defenders about their alignment.

Here are the 3 things we talk about in this video that you should always include when coaching youth football linebackers…

Youth Football Linebackers Must Understand Gap Responsibility

Defense is no different than offense in that there has to be an assignment and a responsibility. That is why you always see the gap responsibilities detailed with every FirstDown PlayBook youth defense. Once you teach gap responsibility you can branch everything else off of this starting point. Your youth football linebackers must know their gap with flow to and away on all run plays.

Linebackers Need To Know What The Defensive Linemen Are Doing

If your linebackers do not know what the defensive linemen are doing, this is an invitation for a big play. If your defensive linemen are stunting, your linebackers better know, if you expect to keep your gap responsibilities straight.

Every Offensive Formation Is Different For Linebackers

Sure, it’s a good idea to start with a base alignment for your youth football linebackers. However, when the offense comes to the line of scrimmage you should coach them to see the formation. This will help them understand the strengths and weaknesses of every formation.

This includes seeing the backfield sets. The running backs tell youth football linebackers a lot before the ball is ever snapped. The formations will tell your youth football linebackers to cheat slightly one direction or another. This will help them defend wing sets or overload formations.

The linebackers are also responsible for understanding spread formations. They may have to bump out on a slot receiver. If they are playing man coverage they will need to know how to play man coverage too. This obviously changes everything about their run and pass keys. So before you get into reading through the guards to the back or reading the stance of the tackle, remember this. The three things in this video should come first when teaching youth football linebackers.

Kevin Hull